Curriculum Studies / Sound Studies in Education / Critical Studies in Improvisation / Multiliteracies / Holistic Education / Ethnography / Autoethnography
Research & Teaching:
- Current Research Project: SSHRC Insight Development –Toward a Sound Pedagogy: A Sonic and Performative Ethnography of ‘Sound Healers’ in Canada (2021-2023).
- SSHRC Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (2019-2021) at the University of Regina in the Department of Interdisciplinary Programs, Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (MAP) – Improvised Soundscapes Toward Beloved Community and a Curriculum of Sound: A Sonic Ethnography of Gong Master-Teachers. The study explores the ethnographic question, “what is going on” in gong teachers’ spaces in India, the UK, and the US? The research explores and queries how improvisation and gong teachings may afford social and environmental transformations as well as inform curriculum.
- Undergraduate courses designed and taught at the University of Regina, Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance: 200AH – Meditation and Art; MAP200AK – Meditation, Social Justice , Art
- Undergraduate course taught at York University, Faculty of Education: EDUC 3600 – Literacy and Culture
- In 2019, she earned a SSHRC-funded PhD from the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her project was a multinational ethnographic study of teachers of contemplative practices in Chile, Canada, and India.
- She explored how mindfulness-based practices and meditation are social practices and a type of socially situated literacy. She continues to query possibilities in what she terms “post-spatial literacies” toward reading self, others, and contextual environments.
- Her primary research questions included: How can mindfulness-based practices (such as meditation and yoga) be understood as socially situated literacy, and what role can these practices play in transforming knowledge of individualized selves into interconnectedness with others?
- Chapter in Sonic Studies in Educational Foundations: Echoes, Reverberations, Silences, Noise (2020) and article in Educational Studies (2018) (PDF here) presenting data from an ethnographic study at an urban ashram in Canada. The study illuminates the role of silence and sound (Gurmukhi mantra) in every day living for meditators in a community of practice.
- Article in Childhood Education (2017) (PDF here) explores curiosity and experience of shunyata (emptiness/fullness) for educators of young children.
Bliss, S. & Fowler, T.A. (2021). Self and others in beloved community: Toward living with dissonant harmony. In T.A. Fowler & W.S. Allen (Eds.), Duoethnographic encounters: Opening spaces for difficult dialogues in times of uncertainty. DOI Press Inc.
Bliss, S. (2020). Tuning out of this world: Silence and mantra at an urban ashram in Zygmunt Bauman’s liquid modernity. In W. Gershon and P. Appelbaum (Eds.), Sonic studies in educational foundations: Echoes, reverberations, silences, noise. Routledge.
Bliss, S. (accepted for 2021). The (un)mindful autoethnographer: Caring for an elder-parent during crisis. Journal of Autoethnography (2)3.
Bliss, S.A. (2018). Tuning out of this world: Silence and mantra at an urban ashram in Zygmunt Bauman’s liquid modernity. Educational Studies – Special Issue ‘Echoes, Reverberations, Silences, and Noise: Sonic Possibilities in Education’ (54)4, 448-464. PDF: here
Bliss, S.A. (2017). Exploring shunyata (emptiness) and the cultivation of mindful practices: Educators finding their zero-point balance. Childhood Education (93)2, 114-118. PDF: here
Bliss, S.A. and Husband, M. (2017). Sexuality in school: The limits of education – Book Review. McGill Journal of Education (52)3, 805-808. Link to the Review
Bliss, S.A. (2016) Possibilities in transformative learning: Facing radically passive teachers including artwork, the breath, and shunyata (emptiness). Transformative Learning Network Conference, Tacoma, WA.
Papers and Workshops at Conferences:
- Toward Resonant Literacy and a Sonic Curriculum. Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) / Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada (LLRC), University of Alberta, Canada, online.
- Mindfully Walking Toward Interconnectedness. International Symposium on Autoethnography and Narrative (ISAN), St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, online.
- The (Un)Mindful Autoethnographer: Taking Care of a Parent. International Association of Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry: Doing Autoethnography Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA.
- Heightened Awareness Through Improvisational Soundscapes. UBC Colloquium 2019: Agile Futures – Approaching Improvisation, Western Front, Vancouver, Canada.
- Recasting Mindfulness-based Practices as a Spatial Model of Socially Situated Literacy: An Ethnography of Meditation and Yoga Teachers in Chile, Canada, and India. CSSE (Canadian Society for the Study of Education), UBC, Vancouver, Canada.
- Internal Environment as First Learning and Teaching Environment. AERA (American Educational Research Association) in Toronto, Canada. Presentation alongside York University Education colleagues in a panel entitled: Deconstructing Knowledge in Post Truth Learning Environments, Toronto, Canada.
- Querying Sound and Silence as ‘Resonant Literacy’. Rosa Bruno-Jofre Symposium in Education: Beyond Themes, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.
- Embodied Learning with Sound and Silence: The Body as a Resonant Gong (The Body as an Instrument). Provoking Curriculum Conference, University of Regina, Regina, Canada.
- Engaging Our Internal Hum and Using Our Voices as Instruments of Change. Teaching in Focus Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada.
- First Interiority, Then Exteriority: Recasting Mindfulness-based Practices as a Contemplative Model of Socially Situated Literacy. AERA (American Educational Research Association), New York, New York, USA.
- ‘Tricked’ and ‘Trumped’ by the Lack of Difficult Phenomena in Picturebooks: Querying Disasters and Death. Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, Dayton, Ohio, USA.
- Tuning Out of This World: Silence and Mantra in Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Modernity. Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, Dayton, Ohio, USA.
- The (Un)Mindful Welcome of Unexpected Others and Difficult Phenomena in Picturebooks. IRSCL Congress (International Research Society for Children’s Literature), York University, Toronto, Canada.
- Learning Through a Levinasian Facing of Artwork and Shunyata (Emptiness). CSSE Congress (Canadian Society for the Study of Education), Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
- Embodied Curriculum of Sound: Using Our Breath, Voices, and Silence to Create Peaceful Internal and External Environments. Eight Biennial Provoking Curriculum Conference, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
- Possibilities in Transformative Learning: Facing Radically Passive Teachers Including Artwork, the Breath, and Shunyata (Emptiness). Transformative Learning Network Conference, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, USA.
- Enhancing Well-Being in Just 3 Minutes: Implementing Mindful Practices. York Centre for Education and Community Summer Institute, York University, Toronto, Canada.
- Just 3 Minutes: Implementing Meditation in the Classroom. Teaching in Focus Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada.
- Living in the Ampersand: A Response to the NFB Documentary ‘Living in the Hyphen’. York Graduate Students in Education Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada.
- Digital Capital and Identity in ESL Students. York Graduate Students in Education Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada.
Research Fellowships & Internships:
- SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, 2019-2021
- Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research, Kent State University, Ohio, U.S.A., 2017
- Research Internship: Knowledge Mobilization Unit, Faculty of Graduate Studies, & Community Partner (Kundalini Yoga Wellness & Health Association), York University, Toronto, Canada, 2017